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Union Army Recruits in Black Regiments in the United States, 1862-1865 (ICPSR 9426)

Principal Investigator(s): Metzer, Jacob; Margo, Robert A.


This data collection was designed to examine the characteristics of free Blacks and ex-slaves mustered into the Union Army between 1862 and the end of the Civil War. In addition to variables on personal characteristics, such as skin, eye, and hair color, height, age, birthplace, and occupation before enlistment, the data also contain Army-related variables, such as regiment and company number, rank, enlistment date and place, changes in rank, and date and cause of end of service.

Access Notes

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Study Description


Metzer, Jacob, and Robert A. Margo. UNION ARMY RECRUITS IN BLACK REGIMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1862-1865. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, Workshop in Economic History [producer], 1990. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-07-24.

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This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (GS-27262 and SOC 776-002)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    African Americans, American Civil War, demographic characteristics, ex-slaves, military service, nineteenth century, physical characteristics, Union Army

Geographic Coverage:    Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York (state), North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1862--1865

Date of Collection:   

  • 1977

Universe:    All Black regiments in the Union Army.

Data Type(s):    administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

This collection was archived by ICPSR to promote the use of social science data in undergraduate and graduate education through the sharing of faculty-submitted ICPSR data-based instructional materials developed for use in the classroom.

Instructional materials for use with these data may be found at UNIO N ARMY RECRUITS IN BLACK REGIMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1862-1865 [INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS] (ICPSR 3466).


Sample:    Judgmental sample of eight Black infantry regiments in the Union Army. The sample represents slightly under 5 percent of all Black troops and has wide regional coverage within the Southern states.

Data Source:

Union Army Regimental Records


Original ICPSR Release:   1991-03-05

Version History:

  • 2007-07-24 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files have been added to this data collection.

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